Sponsor Introduction: E.M. Papers

Today I get to introduce on of APW’s newest sponsors: E.M. Papers. What E.M. Papers does, and does beautifully, is affordable printable wedding invitations – you buy the fill in the blank Adobe Acrobat file, you make it way whatever you want to say, and you print the invite in the comfort of your own home (yee-haw!). Eleanor, the powerhouse behind E.M. Papers, is a member of Team Practical (she had her civil wedding in Munich this winter, and I’m currently twisting her arm to be a wedding graduate), and a designer. She described her wedding paper business to me as, “By a bride for brides.” She said that sounded silly to her, but I actually thought it sounded awesome.

Eleanor told me, “I came up with these templates by scratching my own itch helping friends with their weddings and for my own wedding. I saw for myself and believe that there is a lot you can do with some smart design, a pack of plain white card stock, and an ancient HP 960c ink jet printer. That’s how I put all of these items together, with a lot of trial and error for events that were important and meaningful to me or my friends. With every design I ask myself ‘Would I use these for my own wedding?’ If the answer is no, I revisit it.” Which just… is every d*mn thing I think a wedding business should be. Just… I would like to ‘exactly!’ that.

I know some of you are overwhelmed by print-at-home wedding invitations, but kids? It’s so easy. EM Papers has a ton of printable how-to guides, and Eleanor described it as half-ass DIY, which is *EXACTLY* my kind of DIY.

Other things you should know: her designs are cheap, ladies. Like, categorically affordable. She offers the black and white invite suite above for free, invitations alone are $15, more elaborate wedding correspondence sets go for $40, and the full shebang goes for $65. Because of the prices, what you see is what you get (no changing colors or this’s or that’s), but she also does semi-custom work ( making adjustments to pre-designed invites) with varying prices (email her for more info). And holy h*ell kids, can we look at what the lady can do when she goes custom:

Yeah. Those are invites to her wedding celebration in California, and I want to eat them up.

And if that’s not enough, girlfriend does birthday cards and graduation cards and mama’s day cards and eeeeeeverthing. Yes. You’ll be wanting to go shop now. You’re welcome.

Staff Picks

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  • Seeing how I love paper – you totally lucked out with this sponsor. I love the simplicity and cleverness of the designs. Lucky you.

  • We used Printable Press for our invites, and the thing that made half-ass-DIY so manageable for us was that we got them printed by Staples. For $35. (But we did have problems with the cutting, so cut them yourselves.) The quality was great (we bought our own paper for $18) and they were pretty fast (next day). It saved us the battle we would have had with our printer, and the ink costs alone of true Print Your Own invites would have been astronomical.

    I’m insanely in love with her Garden Party invites. I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate them into our wedding, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

    • meg

      This is so smart, by the way. When people tell me they can’t handle home printing (which seriously… so effing easy…. I’m not joking. We did it for my shower, my 30th, and another shower, and I have zero time) BUT, anyway, when that’s too much, I’m like, “Get them printed! Hello! Kinkos! Vista Print! They do not have wedding prices!” So yes, you are a smart cookie :)

      • Jennifer

        Yes! I am terrible at getting things lined up in printers – I don’t know how I survived my admin assistant years — so for the invites, I did half-assed diy in the other direction, putting the design together myself but then sending out for printing (catprint.com and envelopperinc.com), didn’t even have to get my butt out of the chair!

  • Erika

    Dear E.M. Papers: Love your designs. May I point out a typo in the invitation shown in the first photo? The bride’s last name is Richards, but the location is the Richard [no final -s] home. I thought you would want to know, especially if you have that image on your website. Good luck with your business!

    • ElfPuddle

      I just looked, Erika, and it’s right on the site. :)
      (Yes, you can say “made you look!”)

  • Erika

    Oh, I also want to say that it’s super rad that you are offering some of your designs for free. What? Is that for real?

  • Love this, I can’t wait to choose our invitations and am definitely keeping these on the list!

  • Thanks everyone for the nice comments and Erika, thank you, for pointing out the typo! I just launched this design a couple of days ago and put on the site, – I’m going to fix this pronto!

  • Oh, and yes, that’s for real that some are free. I also think that for many people the idea of printing your own invites may be hard to get their heads around, so it’s good to have something you can take for a test drive (or just use – either way)

  • Carolyn

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I’ve been wanting to do the same thing because I think anything that makes weddings more affordable while still getting great design is a very good thing!

  • Michelle

    Free tandem bike invites?!?! Makes me want to get married all over again just to send out more invitations. Thank you for making beautiful designs affordable.

  • I completely adore these! If I had seen these first I may not have designed my own. Love those tandem bicycles!

    • meg

      So we’ll be seing your invites in your WEDDING GRADUATE POST, riiiiigggghhhhhtttttt?


  • dev

    These are so fantastic! I wish I would have known about them for my own wedding. Invitations can be so overwhelming. And while I love the print-your-own idea, a lot of the great-designy sites that do this are awfully expensive (especially if you’re having a small wedding and don’t need a 100+ invitations). We ended up giving up and buying clearance print-your-own invitations for $10 at Target, which worked out fine. But I would have rather gotten my hands on these and supported a small business. Those prices are amazing!!!

  • Gaaah if ONLY I had seen the graduation cards when my best friend graduated from law school last month…. So. Perfect.

  • aw shux guys, it’s so nice to wake up and see all these nice comments! Thanks!

  • The tandem bicycle graphic on one of those invitations is my new favorite thing. Just sayin’.

  • Karen

    I love love love love the tandem bike one! It’s my favorite out of all of them! But I did actually notice that on one half of it, the last two lines are in italics and on the other half of it, they’re not. Probably wouldn’t matter since the two halves go to different people, but it might bother the obsessive-compulsive among us. :-)

  • Elsa

    Just bought my Wedding Set (“Morning glory”) last week and can’t wait to print my invitation! Eleanor is fabulous and her service is excellent! I love EM Papers!

  • It gives me the warm fuzzies to see generosity! (And such darling invitations, too!)

  • Hi everyone, an APW reader emailed me and asked about paper options. I’ve been meaning to get something up on my site for awhile on this, and still plan to do so – but in the meantime I’ll post my response here:

    There are a few options for card stock:

    1. Basic card stock -I just upgraded to a Canon Pixma printer, but even on our old hp I found that 110lb card stock worked just fine. This is standard card stock that you can pick up at any kind of office supply store (average cost is around $13 for a 500 sheet pack). It’s reasonably thick, but if you want it thicker you can spray mount the printed out sheet to a blank sheet and then cut it out (better if you don’t have too many invites to produce)

    2. Fancier card stock from Paper Source – Another option is papersource.com , where you can buy cover weight paper (and matching envelopes) http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/color/8-1-2-x-11-Cover/2505.131/833.html. Which should be a little fancier than what you would find at your average office supply store

    3. A third option is to buy directly from a supplier. I was delighted to recently discover that French paper http://www.frenchpaper.com/Index.asp, which is a great small paper company that has a huge variety of stock now sells small amounts of their truly terrific paper online. They have 3 whites in their construction line, which would all be lovely (order the cover weight) http://www.frenchpaper.com/results.asp?cat=45

    Depending on the amount of invites your printing, you may find it worth your while to have them printed at a Kinko’s type place (I have seen this comment here and there) it basically is up to you and how much time and effort you want to invest as well as your budget.

    I also wrote a blog post on this topic you can check out here:

  • Depending on the amount of invites your printing, you may find it worth your while to have them printed at a Kinko’s type place.